Alex writes in, Hey, Jeff, How are you?
So, I took FAR a couple weeks ago. If I pass it, then I'll be done. If not, I'm going to have to retake FAR, obviously, but also BEC.
I probably shouldn't even be thinking of what my study plan would be like if I didn't pass. I know I'll probably get Ninja MCQ and get cray-cray with those, but my question is, in your experience, what has been the longest you recall someone going through the studying process.
For me, I'm not very bright. It's been over four years now and I haven't taken breaks. I mean, my family and I have gone on vacation for a week here and there, but my process has been consistent over four years since I began studying.
I think it took me a year originally to pass my first section, regulation, which then expired before passing any other sections. Then, I passed BEC. I retook REG, passed it. And at some point, passed AUD and now I am Auditing. Now I am on to FAR.
Overall, I've sat 19 times, 19. Have you ever heard of such ridiculousness?
Just 19, thanks for your time, Alex. Gives his last name “CP… can't put that A” on there, yet.
First thing Alex, you said that you're not very bright.
That's not true because, first of all, passing the CPA exam is not a test of intelligence, it's a test of perseverance.
So, there are all sorts of people who pass a CPA exam that you probably would not want running your business. And, there are all sorts of people who are struggling with the CPA exam who you would want running your business.
You know, it's a test of work ethic. It's a test of endurance. It's a test of perseverance. It's a test of intestinal fortitude.
So, the longest I've ever heard is, there was a lady who, a couple years back, her name was Jo Marie. She was a blogger. And she either took it 23 times or 30 times, I forget which. But, regardless, she passed the CPA exam and presumably is a licensed CPA today. I haven't kept up with her.
But, some people … If you're going to work in tax, and let's say you score a 90 on regulation, but you really struggle with financial accounting and reporting. And you really struggle with auditing and managerial accounting just doesn't click with you. Does that mean you're not going to be a good tax person? Does that? No. And so, the CPA exam is your ability to test a set of facts and then go in, walk into a Prometric Testing Center and barf it out on exam day.
And that's what it is.
It's a standardized test under standardized conditions. And it's your ability to learn stuff, memorize stuff, go take the exam.
It's not as if people who pass the CPA exam then are all of a sudden are experts in their area. Passing the CPA exam means that you meet the minimum requirements to serve the public interest. It's only the beginning. So, whether or not you take it four times, nine times, 19 times, you know, it doesn't mean … it's not a testament to your intelligence or your lack thereof.
You're staring at someone who took 14 exam sections. There's a contingency out there who think that it's probably a crime that I teach CPA exam stuff and What business do I have giving CPA exam advice? and all this stuff.
Well, I know what it's like to have a family, work full time and be smart enough to pass, but not really want to put in the time, not really want to do the work. And that was my problem until I decided to have some work ethic and then I passed. And, so, the fact that Another 71 is the most visited CPA exam site on the planet is a testament to the fact that God has a sense of humor, so, that's what I attribute that to, and his blessing. But, as far as you, hey, let's assume that you passed FAR. And, if not, it's not the end of the world. You've taken a bunch of exam sections. You can take a few more. So, my story is similar. I passed FAR and then celebrated by taking a year off.
And, then I lost FAR and then so, I was so excited about passing FAR that I just, decided to celebrate as if I had passed the entire CPA exam. And, then I had to restudy. And, so, you'll be fine. No one is ever going to ask you how many times, unless it's like a jerky uncle at Thanksgiving who took the CPA exam back in the day when you had to sit in a hotel conference room and you had two number two pencils and you could only take it twice a year and you had to walk uphill in the snow both ways to take your exam.
So, your jerky uncle may ask you how many times it's taken you to pass it. And then, your nosy co-worker who has nothing else going on in their life but worrying about what everyone else in the office is doing and what in the world you're doing. So, no one else is going to ask you how many times you took the CPA exam. I have my CPA exam scores up on my site, front and center, how many times it took me just 'cause I keep it real, I guess.
And, also, people are struggling, like you. Hey, I've been there, I get it. I'm on the other side of things. I made about every mistake. So, every mistake that you're making, I likely did it. And then every piece of success that you're looking to have, I also did that as well. So, it's all part of my story and I think you will have a success story as well.